Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton

Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West

 A revolutionary new appraisal of the Old West and the America it made The open range cattle era lasted barely a quarter-century, but it left America irrevocably changed. These few decades following the Civil War brought America its greatest boom-and-bust cycle until the Depression, the invention of the assembly line, and the dawn of the conservation movement. It inspired...

Title:Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West
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ISBN:0544369963
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:448 pages

Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West Reviews

  • David
    Jun 12, 2017

    The "real" story of the cowboy. Between the late 1860s and late 1880s, open range cattle breeding transformed the West. Young men looking for work as the Civil War ended drifted west and became cowboys. For awhile they were in demand as the cattle herds were growing and labor was scarce. As the cattle business grew it became more corporate. Homesteaders could not abide open range practices. Power shifted to the meat packers in Chicago and points east. A major blizzard in the late 1880s decimated

    The "real" story of the cowboy. Between the late 1860s and late 1880s, open range cattle breeding transformed the West. Young men looking for work as the Civil War ended drifted west and became cowboys. For awhile they were in demand as the cattle herds were growing and labor was scarce. As the cattle business grew it became more corporate. Homesteaders could not abide open range practices. Power shifted to the meat packers in Chicago and points east. A major blizzard in the late 1880s decimated the herds. The era of the open range cattle business was over. But the myth of the cowboy lives on: the average American somehow spliced to the Victorian-era values of the English and Scottish adventurers and investors who got the whole thing to start. The real cowboy was an entry level laborer who got eaten up by changes in the industry and the popping of the cattle bubble. What else is new?

  • Manray9
    Jul 04, 2017

    Not as much about cowboys as the cattle business, mostly in Wyoming and Montana, during the open range period that ended around 1887. Tedious at times and concentrating on historical figures who were just not that interesting.

  • Dalton Duhon
    Jun 28, 2017

    This book while not bad, was not at all what I expected, and as such, I was a little disappointed. There are interesting parts such as the story of the Johnson county war, or the disappearance of buffalo from the plains, but for the most part, it read like a textbook; not a history textbook either. More like an economics or business textbook. If you're more interested in the business side of the cattle industry in the nineteenth century, or you want to learn more about how already filthy rich Br

    This book while not bad, was not at all what I expected, and as such, I was a little disappointed. There are interesting parts such as the story of the Johnson county war, or the disappearance of buffalo from the plains, but for the most part, it read like a textbook; not a history textbook either. More like an economics or business textbook. If you're more interested in the business side of the cattle industry in the nineteenth century, or you want to learn more about how already filthy rich British, Irish, and Scottish businessmen failed at getting richer in an industry none of them knew anything about this is the book for you. If you'd rather read about real cowboys or life on the trail I'd suggest Cow People by J. Frank Dobie or Wild Cow Tales by Ben K. Green.

  • Elizabeth
    Jun 24, 2017

    While interesting, I didn't really learn anything new about cowboys or cattle. Some parts seemed superfluous and others glossed over too quickly.

  • Steve
    Jun 24, 2017

    An interesting book on the history of the American West and the cowboys who settled there. This covers every aspects of the Old American West from the cattle drives to boomtowns such as Dodge City and Tombstone to lawmen such as Wyatt Earp, Bat Masteron, and Wild Bill Hickok. This book to me covers every aspects of the life and hardships of the American West.

  • John Walker
    Jul 07, 2017

    The history of the cattle industry in west along with cowboys, gunfighters, the good, the bad, the ugly and an American President throw in for good measure. You also get interesting facts like the Big-Die Up, new information on the Johnson County War and what started it (and just maybe the real reason why-hint it ain't human).

    What is really interesting is the influence of the English and Scots, who managed to own thousands of acres of cattle landing create their own companies. How does one send

    The history of the cattle industry in west along with cowboys, gunfighters, the good, the bad, the ugly and an American President throw in for good measure. You also get interesting facts like the Big-Die Up, new information on the Johnson County War and what started it (and just maybe the real reason why-hint it ain't human).

    What is really interesting is the influence of the English and Scots, who managed to own thousands of acres of cattle landing create their own companies. How does one send American beef to England? On the hoof or slaughter them and then ship them over? How does one refrigerated the meat so it won't spoil in transit. Plus the success and failure rate of their ventures.

    Just what the book, The Big Rich did for Texas oilmen, this book does for the cattlemen, and don't worry there are enough Texans involved with the longhorns to make it interesting.

    A fine book . If you think you know the American West, you just might be surprised.

  • Judy Evenson
    Jul 06, 2017

    This nonfiction, well researched and documented telling will destroy any notions you have about the Wild West in the years following the civil war. Interesting account of the cattle drives that thrived for only a few years but set a stage for Hollywood movies, novels and great storytelling. I enjoyed it, learned much but occasionally got bogged down in the detail.

  • Michael Kelley
    Jul 18, 2017

    Great History of the role of cattle

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